Your paper published an editorial from Kevin Kelley, Susan Collins’ staff chief, opining on grave peril to Maine’s rural hospitals should Sara Gideon replace Collins. Incredibly, Collins repeated this absurd assertion in Friday’s debate.
Maine’s rural hospitals have suffered for years because of declining populations who number among the state’s oldest, sickest and poorest. Several have closed their doors, with at least two (Lincoln and Calais) presently in bankruptcy. But two decades into our new century, Republicans have occupied the White House twelve years. During their tenure nothing was accomplished to improve affordability or accessibility to health care. The only positive action occurred under Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which Collins opposed every step of the way.
The Affordable Care Act provided for expanding access to care via Medicaid which would have been an enormous help to rural hospitals. Yet some Republican governors, including Paul Lepage, blocked this access to a payment source. For eight years our rural hospitals continued to struggle under Republican leadership. This has finally been corrected under Gov. Janet Mills and a Democratic Legislature. However, Susan Collins, by supporting Trump’s challenge to Obamacare via the tax act, has once again imperiled health care access to all Mainers. There is no Republican bill to protect even pre-existing conditions.
The choice is crystal clear: To join the civilized world and provide access to affordable health care to all citizens we must replace Trump and the complicit Susan Collins with Biden and Sara Gideon.